Methyl vinyl ketone (MVK) is a reactive organic compound classified as an enone. It is a colorless, flammable, highly toxic liquid with a pungent odor. It is easily soluble in water, methanol, ethanol, acetone, and acetic acid.
MVK can act as an alkylating agent because it is an effective Michael acceptor. Its alkylating ability is both the source of its high toxicity and the feature that makes it a useful intermediate in organic synthesis. MVK will polymerize spontaneously, and is used in the manufacture of plastic polymers. It is also an intermediate in the synthesis of steroids and vitamin A.
MVK is extremely hazardous upon inhalation causing coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath even at low concentrations. It will also readily cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.